The Weekender (4/17/20)


Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, The Weekender.
Let’s get started.

West Virginia: West Virginia GOP Gov. Jim Justice’s campaign released a new primary ad, “Lived Large,” accusing Justice’s primary opponent Woody Thrasher of spending big on a state-funded trip to China. Justice must be worried, as it’s very rare for a sitting incumbent to feel the need to go negative against a primary challenger. Even better, Justice is the richest man in West Virginia and has been accused of using his governorship to enrich himself countless times, so this ad just makes Big Jim look desperate.
New Hampshire: The Nashua Telegraph published an editorial calling out GOP Gov. Chris Sununu for his slow response to Granite Staters’ concerns about COVID-19. Sununu has ignored two separate letters from doctors and health officials urging the governor to ramp up testing in the state. Sununu has also falsely called COVID-19 “the flu” and repeatedly told Granite Staters they were at “very low risk” in contrast to expert opinion and testimony from public health officials. The Democratic Governors Association released a video highlighting Sununu’s confused response to this crisis.

Dan Forest Criticizes Scientists, Health Officials, And Media In Desperate Attempt To Make Headlines During Public Health Emergency
Last month, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest was pilloried for questioning Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to take swift action against COVID-19. After the Charlotte Observer told him “Hush” and public opinion turned against him he hastily back-tracked. It looks like he hasn’t learned anything from that experience. 
Now, Forest is claiming that some of the data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services is “faulty”. When asked what data he was referring to, his campaign refused to “give a direct answer.” He also claimed that the media was misleading the public as to the severity of the crisis in order to sell more advertising. He must have missed that the majority of advertisers have canceled or paused campaigns leading to a decrease in revenue for media companies. 
Thankfully, North Carolina has Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. In the midst of this crisis, he has gone to great lengths to provide necessary resources from increasing access to child care and elder care to petitioning the federal government to make food and health care programs more accessible to North Carolinians.

Democratic Governors Urge Trump Administration to Hold Special Open Enrollment Period During COVID-19 Pandemic
On Monday, a coalition of 12 Democratic governors led by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to the Trump administration, urging U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma to hold a special enrollment period on the federal health care exchange.
The Trump administration announced on March 31st that they had decided against holding a special Affordable Care Act enrollment period, leaving millions of uninsured Americans without the option to get health care coverage during the pandemic.
The letter from the governors asked the administration to reconsider this irresponsible decision, explaining that uninsured or underinsured Americans may decide to not seek help for coronavirus symptoms because they fear the high cost of testing and treatment. The governors said, “Not only is this unacceptable, it’s also dangerous as it undermines our ability as a nation to stop the spread of COVID19.”

“It’s the spirit of collaboration, the spirit of partnership, a recognition that this pandemic knows no boundaries, no borders. You can’t build walls around it and you can’t deny basic fundamental facts.”

“I think people have been starved for content. I mean, we haven’t had a lot of new content since the beginning of March… we’re watching, like reruns from the early 2000s.”
Who said it? Send your answer to and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!
If you guessed GOP Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds last week, you were right! Reynolds responded to a question on why her state is one of five without a stay-at-home order by saying NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director and most trusted leader in America on coronavirus Dr. Anthony Fauci “doesn’t have all the information.”